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Glacier National Park Fees & Reservations

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Chief Mountain in Glacier National Park is a p...

Chief Mountain in Glacier National Park is a prominent peak along the Rocky Mountain Front (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The best things in life are free, and things in life don’t get much better than Glacier National Park, but hold on a minute . . . restrictions do apply.

Free Entrance to Glacier National Park

Free entrance is available to Glacier National Park on selected days only, mind you, if you do choose to visit the park on a free day then you can expect that there might be lots of other visitors doing the same. Don’t worry though, there’s plenty of room for everyone. Right, when can you have free entrance to Glacier National Park? The dates for these days do vary from year to year, so this can give you some idea (depending on which year you actually visit).

  • Martin Luther King Jr Birthday Weekend – January 14 through 16
  • National Park Week – April 21 through 29
  • Get Outdoors Day – June 9
  • Public Lands Day – September 29
  • Veteran’s Day Weekend – November 10 through 12

Glacier National Park Entrance Fees

Okay, so what happens if you choose to visit Glacier National Park on some other day when it ain’t free? How much is that gonna’ cost you?

  • Auto/Vehicle Permit for 7 days – $25 in the summer (from beg May through to end October) and $15 in the winter (the rest of the time). This includes all passengers traveling within the vehicle, just so long as it’s single, private and non-commercial.
  • Single Entry Permit for 7 days – anybody who visits Glacier National Park on foot, bicycle, motorcycle or people who travel together in an organized group which is non-commercial will have to pay $12 each in the summer, and $10 each in the winter.
  • Annual Pass – anybody who is lucky enough to be able to visit Glacier National Park a few times over the course of the year should buy an annual pass, it’ll only cost $35 and admits the passengers in a private, non-commercial vehicle, or the pass-holder plus immediate members of family if entering the park on foot or by bicycle. Immediate members of the family includes spouse, children and parents . . . not third cousin twice removed or sister-in-law of step-father from a previous marriage.

The mountain goats don’t have to pay the entrance fee to Glacier National Park, they live there!

Commercial groups and tours do have a different entrance fee price scale, based on the seating capacity of the vehicle excluding the driver.

  • Vehicles with a seating capacity of up to 6 passengers – $25 per vehicle plus $12 per person (who is 16 years of age or older)
  • Vehicles with a seating capacity of between 7 and 15 passengers – $75 per vehicle
  • Vehicles with a seating capacity of between 16 and 25 passengers – $100 per vehicle
  • Vehicles with a seating capacity of 26 passengers or more – $200 per vehicle

Glacier National Park Permits

If you want to do something a little out of the ordinary in Glacier National Park (steady on) then you might need to get a permit for it. The sorts of things which do require a permit include getting married, photography and filming, or a commercial operator permit. You’ll also need to get a back country permit if you want to enjoy a little back country camping, and let’s be honest, Glacier National Park is a real backpackers paradise.

It sure does look like a backpackers paradise.

Camping at Glacier National Park

There are 13 different campgrounds at Glacier National Park offering more than 1000 sites (plus back country camping opportunities), hmmm, plenty to choose from then. Let’s look at them all in a little more details.

Apgar Campground, Glacier National Park – the largest of all the Glacier National Park campgrounds, the Apgar Campground – as its name might suggest – is close to the Apgar visitor center as well as lots of other facilities – camp store, gift store, restaurant, shuttle service, boat rentals, horseback ride reservations etc.

  • Campground fees $20 per night during summer (beginning May through to beginning October) and has potable water, restroom facilities and sinks with running water.
  • Primitive camping is available for the rest of the year at a charge of $10 per night.
  • There are 194 sites, 25 of which are suitable for an RV or truck and trailer combo up to 40 foot.
  • Reservations are not an option at this Glacier National Park campground, first come, first served.


Avalanche Campground, Glacier National Park – is in one of the most popular areas of Glacier National Park, just west of the Continental Divide. Don’t forget your hiking boots, binoculars and camera . . . there are a couple of amazing hikes from here.

  • Campground fees are $20 per night during the summer (beginning June through to beginning September) and has potable water, restroom facilities and sinks with running water.
  • The campground is closed for the rest of the year.
  • There are 87 sites, but only 50 of which are suitable for an RV or truck and trailer combo up to 26 foot.
  • Reservations are not an option, first come, first served.

Bowman Lake Campground, Glacier National Park – is in the North Fork area of the park, only 30 miles from the Canadian border. It’s a long, slow, dusty road to the Bowman Lake Campground, but boy is it worth it when you get there, it’s great for tent campers who prefer their camping to be “far from the madding crowd”. Don’t forget your mosquito nets and plenty of bug repellent.

  • Campground fees are $15 per night during the summer, (end May through to beg September), but be warned, there are no flush toilets, showers or any more of lifes little luxuries.
  • Primitive camping is available for $10 per night between 10 and 24 May, and 10 September through to end of October, depending on suitable weather and road conditions. During the primitive camping periods you’ve gotta’ make sure that you carry everything in with you, including drinking water (and don’t forget to carry your stuff back out again).
  • The Bowman Lake Campground is not recommended for RVs or truck and trailer combos, the road to the campground isn’t suitable for such vehicles.
  • Reservations are not an option, first come, first served.

Cut Bank Campground, Glacier National Park – is on the east side of the park and another place where campers can really enjoy a little peace and quiet. Access to the campground is via 5 miles of dirt road from highway 89.

  • Campground fees are $10 per night
  • This campground is open between 8 June and 3 September only
  • This is a primitive campground – there’s no drinking water, no flush toilets, no showers, none of lifes little luxuries
  • The Cut Bank Campground is not suitable for RV’s or truck and trailer combos
  • Reservations are not an option, first come, first served.

Fish Creek Campground, Glacier National Park – is just off the Camas Road, maybe 2.5 miles from the Apgar Village, this is the second largest campground in Glacier National Park.

  • Campground fees as $23 per night
  • This campground is open between 1 June and 3 September only
  • There are flush toilets, showers and disposal station
  • Fish Creek Campground has 178 sites, 18 of which are suitable for an RV or truck and trailer combo up to 35 foot
  • This is only one of two campgrounds in Glacier National Park which does accept reservations

Kintla Lake Campground, Glacier National Park – the most remote car camping campground in the Glacier National Park, you’ve gotta’ go back country to get further “away from it all”. It’s located in North Fork, around 40 miles from the Canadian border. It’s a long, slow, bumpy drive, but boy is it worth it when you get to Kintla Lake, if you wanna’ hear “The Sound of Silence” then this is the place to be.

  • Campground fees are $15 per night
  • The campground is open between 25 May and 9 September
  • Primitive camping is available at Kintla Lake Campground between 10 and 24 May, and 10 September through to end of October
  • Potable water is available via a hand pump
  • No flush toilets or showers
  • This campground is not suitable for RV’s or truck and trailer combos.
  • Reservations are not an option, first come, first served.

Logging Creek Campground, Glacier National Park – one of the smaller Glacier National Park campgrounds with only 7 available sites.

  • This primitive campground is open between 1 July and 24 September only, at a charge of $10 per night
  • No water, flush toilets or showers
  • This campground is not suitable for RV’s or truck and trailer combos.
  • Reservations are not an option, first come, first served.

Many Glacier Campground, Glacier National Park – another very popular campground so make sure that you arrive early. It’s pretty close to the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn which has plenty of facilities, camp store and gift shop, restaurant, shuttle service etc. There are also token operated showers available.

  • The campground fees are $20 per night during the summer, 25 May through to 16 September.
  • Primitive camping is available from 17 September through to end October for $10 per night.
  • There are flush toilets and water available during the summer only, bring your own water for primitive camping.
  • This Glacier National Park campground has 110 sites, 13 of which are suitable for RV’s or truck and trailer combos up to 35 foot.
  • Reservations are not an option, first come, first served.

Quartz Creek Campground, Glacier National Park – the smallest of all the parks campgrounds, this offers a true wilderness experience for tent campers. It’s located within the trees offering limited views, but there are some fantastic day hikes from here with incredible views. You need to drive a long, dusty, winding road to access this campground.

  • It’ll cost you $10 per night to stay at the Quartz Creek Campground
  • The campground is open from the beginning of July until end of October only
  • This is a primitive campground – there is no water, no showers and pit toilets only
  • There are 7 sites at Quartz Creek Campground
  • This is not a suitable campground for RV’s or truck and trailer combos
  • Reservations are not an option, first come, first served

Rising Sun Campground, Glacier National Park – it’s where “the mountains meet the prairies” . . . and it’s well named. The morning sunrises are astonishingly beautiful with Red Eagle Mountain serving as a dramatic backdrop.

  • Campground fees are $20 per night
  • The Rising Sun Campground is open during the summer only, from 25 May until 10 September
  • There are flush toilets and showers available
  • This campground has 83 sites, 10 of which are suitable for vehicles up to 25 foot
  • Reservations are not an option, first come, first served

Sprague Creek Campground, Glacier National Park – this small campground is located on the northeast shore of Lake McDonald, approximately 9 miles from the west entrance of Glacier National Park. Lake McDonald Lodge has lots of facilities like a camp store, gift shop, boat tours, tour buses and horseback ride.

  • Campground fees are $20 per night
  • The Sprague Creek Campground is open during the summer only, 11 May until 9 September
  • Flush toilets are available, but there are no showers
  • Towed units are not allowed at this campground, tents only
  • There are only 25 sites available, so come early, this campground is small yet popular
  • Reservations are not an option, first come, first served

St Mary Campground, Glacier National Park – this is the largest campground on the east side of Glacier National Park, only around half a mile from the St Mary Visitor Center. There are lots of facilities just a couple of miles away including gift shops, restaurants, gas, grocery store and camp stores.

  • Campground fees are $23 per night during the summer – 25 May until 16 September
  • Primitive camping is available between 1 April and 24 May, and 17 September until 31 October at a charge of $10 per night
  • Winter camping is available at all other times at no charge
  • There is no water available during the primitive and winter camping periods
  • Flush toilets and showers are available during the summer
  • This campground has 148 sites, 25 of which can accommodate RV’s and truck and trailer combos up to 35 foot
  • Reservations are accepted for camping between 1 June and 3 September

Two Medicine Campground, Glacier National Park – this is in a quiet and peaceful location around 13 miles away from East Glacier. There is a camp store and gift shop on the campground, which is also home to a registered historic landmark. There are also boat tours, bus tours and a shuttle service to connect campers to the east side of Glacier National Park.

  • Campground fees are $20 per night during the summer, 25 May through to 16 September
  • Primitive camping is available from 17 September through to 31 October for $10 per night
  • There are flush toilets but no showers
  • Primitive campers need to bring their own water supply
  • There are 99 sites at this campground, 13 of which can accommodate RV’s or truck and trailer combos up to 32 foot.
  • Reservations are no an option, first come, first served


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